The Second And Third Stages Of Birth
After the relaxation of the first stage, the uterine contractions become stronger and more frequent and drive the first kitten, contained within its membranes, towards and into the pelvic opening. As the first kitten enters the pelvis, the outer layer of the membranes appears briefly at the vulva as the water bag, which bursts and sheds some fluid which is usually cleared up by the cat. The inner layer passes into the pelvis and retains some of the fluid which acts as a continuing lubricant to assist the passage of the kitten.
The cat pushes to help the kitten through the pelvis. This is usually the point at which the owner can see that the cat is actually straining. Normally, delivery of a kitten from the beginning of the second stage may take from five to 30 minutes. Once the head is out, one or two more strains should complete the passage of the kitten.
The third stage follows immediately and is seen simply as the passage of the membranes, complete with the dark flesh coloured mass of separated placenta, as the after-birth.
Normally, each set of membranes is passed immediately after each kitten. However, sometimes a second kitten will follow so quickly from the opposite uterine horn that the membranes from the first will be trapped temporarily and the two sets will be passed together.
Retention Of Fetal Membranes
Sometimes a queen wont pass the final set of fetal membranes/tissue after birthing is completed. When this happens, the membranes will begin to break down and rot in her uterus. The queen often becomes restless and experiences discomfort in her belly area and wont want to nurse, lay with, or take care of her kittens. She may eat very little or refuse food and water, and a brownish vaginal discharge may be evident. If you notice these signs, your cat requires immediate veterinary care. The vet may recommend diagnostic tests as well as appropriate treatment which may include antibiotics, pain medications, and hospitalization.
What To Do If My Cat Is Bleeding After Giving Birth
As we stated above, it is normal for some bleeding to occur after a cat gives birth. However, this bleeding should not be profuse. Commonly the blood will present as spotting, meaning you will only see a few spots of blood. If you see a cat dripping blood after giving birth, then this is not normal and implies there is a serious problem.
Spotting is normal for about 48 hours after a cat gives birth. If it continues to happen after this time, you should take them to the vet to rule out a problem. You will need to also look at other symptoms. If the cat stops eating, has vomiting and/or diarrhea or any other symptoms where you think they may be ill, you need to take them to the vet.
If the cat has an infection, it can be worrying for the kittens. As the kittens are both feeding off their mother and in very close proximity, infection can spread. The vet will be able to treat the infection and also examine the kittens to ensure their well-being is not compromised. If the problem is due to a blockage or hemorrhaging, they will be able to examine the cat and provide a diagnosis. The treatment will vary according to the cause, with antibiotics being common and surgery being required in acute cases.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
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Recovery Of Retained Placenta In Cats
Your cats prognosis is largely dependent upon how quickly your cat received veterinary treatment after retaining a placenta and which treatment, whether medical or surgical, your cat required. ;If you and your veterinarian discovered the retained placenta before it began to decompose and the placenta then passed after a dose of oxytocin, your cat will likely not have any additional recovery than that which is natural after giving birth. If your cat developed an infection before oxytocin was effective, your cat may be on antibiotics for several days and will likely be lethargic as she rests. A queen that has had a celiotomy will need several days to more than a week to heal from the surgery and may require antibiotics and pain medication. Your veterinarian will advise you as to whether it is safe for the mother to nurse the kittens while she is on medication or if you will need to feed the kittens with a milk replacement that can often be purchased through your veterinarians office or at a pet store. The queen and her kittens will likely need to be re-examined by the veterinarian in the days or weeks following to ensure that your cat has healed and that the infection has subsided.
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Retained Placenta Average Cost
Abnormalities Of Labour Dystocia
Dystocia can be classified as either maternal or foetal in origin, depending on whether it is caused by problems with the queen or kittens. Dystocia can also be classified according to whether it arises from obstruction of the birth canal or a functional deficiency of the uterine muscle.
Obstructive dystocia is caused by disproportion between the size of the kittens and the maternal birth canal. Factors resulting in an inadequate size of the maternal birth canal may include disorders of the maternal skeleton , the pelvic soft tissues , or the uterus itself . Foetal causes of obstructive dystocia may result from malpresentation, severe foetal malformation , foetal oversize or foetal death.
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Limit Handling Them During The First Weeks
Although you may want to pet and hold the kittens constantly, do not intervene too much in the first week or two of their lives. During this time, kittens are very susceptible to disease,;and it can;be stressful to;the mom and babies.;;
During the first few weeks after birth, the mother cat will stimulate her kittens to eliminate by cleaning their genital areas. She will also clean up after them, so there is no need to add a litter box specifically for the kittens during their early days.
Your Cat Is Pregnant And You Need More Information Look Down For Questions And Answers
1.Is it true that cats are in heat in late spring and midsummer only?2.Does a queen bleed when shes in heat, like dogs do?3.How can you tell if a cat is pregnant?4.How long does pregnancy in cats last?5.Can a feline have more than one father per litter?6.How old does a cat have to be before she can get pregnant?7.How soon after giving birth can a cat become pregnant again?8.My pregnant cat has worms. What should I do?9.I have two cats, one male and one female. The female cat is pregnant, but the male is not the father. Will he attack the kittens once theyre born?
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Second Stage Of Labor: Birth
The second stage of labor in cats begins with stronger, more frequent uterine contractions that eventually lead to;the;birth of a kitten.;Do NOT move or distract your cat during;the;birthing process;because she may stop labor and begin again the next day;if she feels stressed.;
Depending;on the individual;queen, kittens are usually born every 30-60 minutes, with the entire litter being delivered in less than six hours.;Pregnant cats can have four to six kittens in a litter. You can use a timer to keep track of the time between kittens to make sure there isnt a problem.
Watch for Complications
Dystocia means difficult birth;and can occur for a variety of reasons.
If the mother;is having strong contractions and hasbeen straining for more than 60 minutes without birthing a kitten, she should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.;
What Should You Do After a Kitten Is Born?
Kittens;are born with a protective fetal membrane;that is usually removed by the mother cat shortly after birth. Fetal membranes are usually reddish-yellow in color and surround the fetus thats floating in amniotic fluid.
If the mother cat fails to remove the fetal membrane within the first minute after birth, you will need to break the sac;and wipe away any fluid from the kittens nose. Then open the mouth with the head facing down and clear any remaining membranes or fluid. You can then stimulate the kitten to breathe by firmly stroking their body with a towel.
How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Give Birth
A cat’s labor is not governed by fixed rules and, like we humans, we can only speak in approximate terms. Even so, it is possible to offer some general guidelines to caregivers when determining whether the delivery is proceeding in the usual way or there are delays which may imply problems.
The first phase of the delivery is known as dilation. This is where the uterine contractions act to open the cervix to allow the passage of the young. This leads to a second expulsion where the kittens are actually birthed. To know how long is the labor period of a cat giving birth for the first time, we must bear in mind that the dilation period can be prolonged. It is possible that before the birth begins, the cat loses their mucus plug. This is the substance to uterus uses to prevent infection. The mucus plug can fall between 3 and 7 days before the kittens are born. This is not always the case as the cat may lick at the area. If they don’t give birth more than 7 days after they lose their mucus plug, then we should consult a vet. The same goes if a greenish secretion occurs, but is not followed by the birth of the kittens.
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Things To Do Following The Birth
Warmth is important as newborn kittens can lose heat very quickly. If the mother is attentive, she will clean the kittens and use her body heat to keep the kittens warm. If she is tired or disturbed she may ignore them, in which case you will need to provide warmth, either via a heat pad or a covered hot water bottle – no hotter than body temperature – and the kittens should be covered with a light towel or blanket. Keep the room temperature warm and the bedding clean and dry.
Feeding – the kittens should start to suckle from their mother almost immediately. If they haven’t started after half an hour, gently guide them towards the teats. If the kittens don’t start feeding, ask your vet for advice. You may need to start giving the kitten a substitute milk – but follow the instructions carefully.
Remember, newborn kittens cannot go more than a few hours without milk.
If the queen is calm and settled, you may wish to quickly and quietly check each kitten. Speak to your vet for advice if you have any concerns.
New Kitten And Mother Cat Care
The first two to three weeks are the most crucial for a mother cat and her newborn kittens. The kittens should be developing rapidly, and if the mother is going to have any postpartum problems, it will happen during that period.
Let the mother cat set the pace for your attention. If she has been your pet for a while, she may welcome your visits. A rescued stray or fostered cat may prefer that you stay away. As long as the kittens are nursing frequently and appear to be thriving, they will be OK.
Keep the mother cat and her babies in a quiet part of the house; a separate room is ideal. Make sure the room is warm enough as kittens are unable to regulate their body temperature when they are only a few days old. The mother cat can keep the babies warm, but if she leaves to eat or use a litter box, the kittens can get cold. Chilling is one of the most critical dangers to newborn kittens. Provide blankets, a heat lamp, or a heating pad to ensure the kittens stay warm.
Use a large enough box to comfortably hold the mother cat and her kittens. Stack clean towels to line it. The towels will become soiled quickly as the kittens defecate. It will be easiest to remove the top towel to reveal a clean layer.
Keep the mother cat’s litter box, food, and water bowls close by. Make sure you are feeding her a high-quality;canned kitten food, supplemented with KMR . These specially formulated foods ensure that a nursing, postpartum mother cat gets the nutrients she needs.
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About Dr Sarah Wooten Dvm Cvj
A 2002 graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sarah Wooten is a well known international speaker in the veterinary and animal health care spaces. She has 10 years experience in public speaking and media work, and writes for a large number of online and printanimal health publications. Dr. Wooten is also a certified veterinary journalist, a member of the AVMA, and has 16 years experience insmall animal veterinary practice. To learn more, visit drsarahwooten.com.
What Do You Need To Do
Breeders or owners may want to know what can be done to recognise trouble early and how it can be avoided or overcome.
Most cats, especially moggies or non-pedigrees, give birth without problem. A normal cat birth needs no intervention. If you are at all worried, contact your vet. If you are a breeder and would like more detailed information on birth and birthing problems, .
The late Jane Burton of;Warren Photographic supplied the beautiful pictures.
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Do Cats Give Birth At Night
Your cats labour should go smoothly, but its useful to have help on hand to keep her calm and in case she runs into any complications. Get hold of your vets out-of-hours phone number prior to your cat giving birth , as delivery often happens during the night , or they might need an emergency helping hand.
Monitor Nursing And Lactation
Colostrum is the first milk that the mother cat produces for her kittens. It is imperative that the kittens receive an adequate amount of colostrum because it contains vital nutrients and immunoglobulins that are necessary for proper immune system maturation.
Newborn kittens should be nursing every one to two hours, so your cat will likely be with them constantly;for the first week or two.;If you think that your cat may not be producing milk, or isnt letting the kittens nurse, contact your veterinarian right away.;
Use caution when approaching the kittens, as some mothers may show aggression to humans;or other household pets if;they;perceive a threat.;
Avoid giving medications and vaccines while your cat is nursing.
If your cat becomes ill, call your veterinarian immediately and make sure to let them know that she is nursing so that they can prescribe safe medications if needed. Contact your vet if you your cat does any of the following:
Becomes very lethargic
Has redness and swelling in any of her mammary glands
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What Should I Do When She Finishes Delivering Her Kittens
Once delivery is completed, the soiled newspapers should be removed from the queening box. The cleaned box should be lined with soft bedding prior to the kittens’ return. The mother should accept the kittens readily and roll over on her side for nursing.
Your veterinarian should examine the mother and her litter within twenty-four hours after the delivery. This visit is to ensure that there are no undelivered kittens, and to determine if milk production is adequate. The mother may receive an injection of the hormone oxytocin to contract the uterus and stimulate milk production.
The mother will have a bloody vaginal discharge for several days following delivery. If it continues for longer than one week, your veterinarian should examine her, since she might be experiencing postpartum complications such as a retained placenta.
Signs Of Impending Labor
The duration of a cat pregnancy is roughly 60 days, give or take five days. If you are not so sure how far along your cat is, review the telltale signs that birth is imminent.
- Nesting:;A day or two before labor, your cat will seek out a quiet and safe place to have her kittens. She may choose a spot you make for her or look to hideout in the back of a closet or under a bed.
- Behavioral Changes: You may notice your cat will begin restless pacing, panting, excessive grooming , and excessive vocalization. She will also stop eating.
- Physical Changes in Labor:;Your cat’s rectal body temperature can drop to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and it may vomit. You might see the abdomen “drop” a few days before labor, and the cat’s nipples might get larger, darker, or pinker.
- Active Labor Signs:;Contractionsthe uterine movements that move the kitten down the birth canalmay make your cat yowl through the pain. You may also see a discharge of blood or other fluids.
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